Course Administrator
Mr Andrew Wright

Immunity and Infection introduction

Immunity and Infection introduction
Pathway overview [download pdf]Attend the iBSc Science Fair


The BSc in Immunity and Infection allows a science-based study of the immune system in health and disease; in particular, diseases caused by infectious organisms, breakdown of peripheral tolerance and tumour formation. Building upon an understanding of the basic mechanisms underpinning microbial pathogenesis, immune activation, inflammation and tolerance. The course will cover host-pathogen interactions, immune evasion, vaccination, immune-mediated pathogenesis, autoimmunity and the immunological aspects of transplantation including approaches for the analysis of immune responses.

This course comprises an initial two-week Introductory module, followed by three five-week taught modules and either a ten-week research project or a specialist course (two five-week modules).

The Course Director is Dr Fiona Culley ( f.culley@imperial.ac.uk ).

Aims and objectives

The course aims to:

  • Ensure that students are familiar with the fundamental elements of the molecular and cellular processes that underpin inflammation and immunological responses to infection, tissue transplants and tumours
  • Provide an insight into the importance, indications and limitations of immunological and pathological testing techniques and therapies in clinical practice
  • Foster the ability to criticise and comment on scientific research, work independently and as part of a group, and to develop oral and written presentation skills
  • Provide training in research through the project

By the end of the course the student will:

  • Have a broad understanding of how and why microorganisms cause human disease
  • Be able to discuss how the immune system recognises and responds to foreign and sometimes to self-antigens
  • Understand how disordered immunity, inflammation and regulatory mechanisms can contribute to human disease
  • Understand the immune challenges of transplantation and the relevance and importance of clinical organ transplants
  • Understand the principles of therapeutic immune modulation through vaccination and immunomodulation

With the exception of BSc Management and BSc Biomedical Engineering, all of Imperial College's intercalated BSc courses are split into Parts A, B and C. Parts A and B run from September until February and comprise teaching on the BSc course topic. Part C, which runs from March until May, gives students the opportunity to undertake a project.

The BSc project is a ten-week research project, which gives students a valuable opportunity to learn about scientific research. The project is assessed via an oral presentation of the project (25% of Part C marks) and a 5000-word project write-up (75% of Part C marks). Examples of the type of projects available can be found in this list of past BSc project titles (PDF).